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Hungary must follow Poland’s example in getting behind EU climate targets – Doherty

17th January 2024 - Regina Doherty

The Hungarian government has failed to take climate action seriously and must now commit to Europe’s 2040 targets, a Fine Gael Senator has said.

Senator Regina Doherty, a member of the Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs, said: “I welcome this week’s commitment by the Polish government to step up their country’s climate action efforts. The commitment marks a real and positive change for Europe after years of indifference by Poland’s previous right-wing government, but it also highlights its neighbour’s inaction on this urgent issue.

“Climate change is the pressing issue of our time and it impacts all citizens across the EU. Politicians have a responsibility to work collaboratively with our European colleagues and not take a populist approach as was the case with the previous Polish government.

“As a growing power within the EU, it is vital for Poland to lead if Europe is to succeed in the fight against climate change.

“Prime Minister Donald Tusk has a long history of working with colleagues in the European People’s Party, of which Fine Gael is a member. It is EPP governments who offer a pragmatic approach to fighting climate change; one that protects our environment while securing jobs and our economy.

“In Fine Gael, we’re proud to support President Ursula Von der Leyen’s historic Green New Deal, which maps an ambitious path to European climate neutrality.

“It’s greatly significant to hear Poland’s new Environment Minister, Urszula Zielinska, support the EU’s target of a 90% reduction in greenhouse emissions by 2040 and publish an ambitious national strategy that plans for a Just Transition in Poland” she said.

“The Hungarian Government, on the other hand, is a stark outlier by still not taking climate action seriously. With Poland signalling a welcome u-turn, I think Hungary would achieve a lot more if Viktor Orbán stepped up to the mark and cut out the populist dogwhistling about ‘fearmongering’ over climate change by so-called ‘Western elites’.

“We see the effects of climate change everywhere and most of us recognise the need to take urgent action to reverse this catastrophe. Achieving Net Zero – climate neutrality – by 2050 will take all of our efforts and requires real ambition. I now see that ambition from most of the EU27; Hungary needs to follow Poland’s example,” concluded Senator Doherty.

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